Failure To Act

May 31, 2017

In a legislative session where tax reform has been a key focus, the one and only comprehensive tax reform package has failed. 

Credit Louisiana House of Representatives Broadcast Archives

On Tuesday, Republican Representative Barry Ivey (Baton Rouge) presented part of that plan, creating a flat tax for corporations.

“This is good tax policy. It will bring stability and predictability for business in Louisiana,” urged Ivey.

Yet the Republican-controlled House has shown little appetite for long term tax reform. They seem to prefer spending cuts, instead of working on replacing temporary taxes that disappear in just over one year.

“If we do not solve some of our policy problems this session," stressed Ivey, "we will hit the fiscal cliff. There will be no offsetting the 750 [million] to $1 billion, and if you’re okay with those cuts, I’m okay with those cuts. But I’m going to tell  you it’s going to devastate higher education and healthcare.”

Ivey’s bills failed to muster enough votes to pass. That left him warning members, saying “if we’re not going to try and solve our tax policy issue now, we’re not going to do it in a special session. It won’t be possible.”

Another option remained. Representative Neil Abramson’s (D-New Orleans) bill to call a constitutional convention dealing only with tax and budget issues.

“I think we’ve finally gotten to the point where a process is needed where we can go in and holistically fix it once and for all. Over the course of the last number of years, we’ve tried to do piecemeal solutions and quite simply it hasn’t worked.  I think we all agree on one thing and that’s that the system is currently broken. This is a process to get to a solution,” Abramson explained.

That bill failed as well.